In Conversation With: Byron Bay Band, Tora

Meet Tora, the Byron Bay electronic band with an affinity for silk. We asked them some questions, and they curated a special-edition July playlist. 

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Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your new single launching on June 28th?

This song is about the early phases of a relationship when everything feels risky and exciting, but you’re not quite sure if it’s all real yet. It’s essentially a song about the honeymoon phase…It’s a collaboration with our long time friend NADA KATANA.

How does this single fit into the larger narrative of your upcoming album "Temps de Flors”?

The theme of the album is the time of the flowers, it’s all about expansion, growth, blooming, so this song fits in perfectly as it’s about the blooming of a relationship.
You've performed at some of the world's largest festivals.

What has been the most memorable performance for you so far?

There have been a lot of fun shows over the years, but in terms of memorable it would have to be in Monterey, Mexico 2015 at Hellow Festival. It was quite a funny story actually, we were so young, broke and inexperienced with no sound engineer of our own, so due to the language barrier we somehow ended up with no kick drum coming through the front of house for the first 5 songs. By the time that kicked in the crowd just exploded with energy for the rest of the set and then at the end of our set we were cut off 30 seconds into the start of our biggest song at the time, right before the drop so the whole crowd thought we were playing a trick on them. It was one of those shows where everything goes wrong but somehow it works in your favour.

How do you prepare for a live show? Are there any pre-show rituals you follow?

For us it’s just a simple ritual, before the show we always have a group huddle and share eye contact, level with each other and make sure we’re synched up in the same universe, have a big hug and then run out on stage together.

Do you have a favourite piece from the Silk Laundry collection that you’ve worn on tour?

For me (Jo) it’s definitely the Black Twill Slouch Pants, they are literally the comfiest pants I’ve owned, even Jai steals them from me sometimes cause he’s jealous of them haha.

What does a typical day look like for TORA when you’re not performing or recording?

We all live very different lives in different parts of the world, so when we aren’t on tour or recording there’s a lot of other stuff going on, as we are all workaholics who thrive on productivity. For me (Jo) I spend a lot of my time in the studio writing and producing for various side projects, along with my solo project JPL. If I’m not in the studio I’m travelling around getting inspiration from various cities around the world. Shaun does booking / events for a venue in Berlin called Orangerie, along with work as an audio engineer for various artists. Jai has his own side project which he produces and DJ’s under, along with being a fashion model. Thorne does a lot of graphic design and works on a start up crypto project called Unit, and lives in Bali.

Can you share a fun or interesting story from behind the scenes while working on your new music or during the tour?

During the time we were in Catalonia writing the new album, one of the locals told us about this festival that was going on in Girona called Temps de Flors, so we went to check it out and there was flowers all over the city, everywhere we looked was a different flower installation, so we strolled around the entire day smelling and looking at flowers, the vibes were high and this set the mood for the whole writing process, which is also why we eventually called them album Temps de Flors.

Besides the new album, what other projects or plans do you have for the rest of the year?

We have an album tour through Europe, USA, Canada, Mexico and Australia through Oct/Nov, so that’ll take up a good portion of our time, but we’ve also been talking about spending some time writing new music potentially in Bali or somewhere in Southeast Asia. There’s also new music coming together for some of our side projects, so there may be some other drops later in the year, let’s see.

How do you see TORA evolving in the next few years? Are there any new directions or collaborations you’re excited about?

Our sound is always evolving and expanding out in different directions, so while we explore more dancy energetic sounds on one side of the spectrum, we also continue to stretch the boundaries the other way. There are some exciting collabs on the horizon but we can’t say much more about those other than they may be unexpected.

Quickfire Round 

What’s your go-to song when you need a mood boost?

TORA: Mixer - Amber Mark.

What’s the last travel destination that inspired your music?

TORA: In Catalonia, we spent six weeks working on Temps de Flors, which is how the album got its name. "Temps de Flors" means "Time of the Flowers" in Catalonian.

What’s your favourite way to unwind after a show?

TORA: When the show is done we all have different ways to unwind, myself (Jo) I have too much energy for my own good so I like to have a beer and go socialise with people, get some good chats in, maybe a little dance if there’s any DJ’s spinning tunes, and then perhaps a little smoke before bed and often I find myself staying awake longer than I should, but life’s too short and I have too much FOMO.

What’s the most memorable outfit you’ve ever worn on stage?

TORA: One time we were in middle America back in 2015 and it was Halloween, I think it was St Louis or something, and we found a whole bunch of costumes backstage and the other guys dared me to wear this house maid’s dress, with a big wig and I had a big beard at the time…people in the audience were visible uncomfortable.

If you could invite any three people, dead or alive, to a dinner party, who would they be and why?

TORA: Elon Musk, Nikola Tesla & Albert Einstein…three geniuses with very different views of the world, I think it would be a fascinating conversation.

What’s your favourite way to incorporate sustainability into your daily life?

TORA: Walking and riding the bike! I love in Amsterdam, so it’s a very sustainable city the way it’s built so it’s easy to get around by foot or bike, but wherever I am in the world, if the distance is less than 5km and I have time spare I will usually opt to walk, it’s more sustainable for my body and for society.

Describe your perfect Sunday morning.

TORA: Wake up, take a walk in the sun, play a bit of music, catch up with friends for brunch, a little nap in the park, stroll around the city some more.

What’s your go-to Silk Laundry piece for a night out?

TORA: To be honest, for me it’s those same Black Twill Slouch Pants along with the Black Boyfriend Shirt, as a whole fit I love it.